The 22nd Annual Sunflower Balloon Fest—Free Family Fun!
Enjoy a relaxed, family-oriented atmosphere. You want a break from the routine. But nothing that’s going to leave you with jet lag on Monday morning. Sounds like the Sunflower Balloon Fest in Anthony, Kansas is just the ticket. “The One of A Kind Balloon Festival You Won’t Find Anywhere But Kansas”.
Kansas hosts a ton of wonderfully fun festivals every year, but for the summer, the one thing all kids love is the sky. There’s one huge festival in a small town (Anthony, Kansas) that you probably haven’t heard of (or maybe you have) that’s positively bursting with excitement for this balloon extravaganza. Wonder what it is?
The 22nd Annual Sunflower Balloon Fest—Free Family Fun! To kick off the weekend of fun plan to attend the Twisted Amusement Carnival opening on Thursday and Friday, May 9 & 10 from 5 – 10 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. If you wish you can come to Anthony on Wednesday and watch them set up. They will have ride specials daily and bracelets daily will be just $15.
You won’t want
to miss the 22nd Annual Sunflower Balloon Fest in Anthony, KS
sponsored by Anthony Chamber of Commerce and Anthony Transient Guest Tax, May 10-11-12.
You’ve never seen anything like it, as 12 hot air balloons rise from the green
pastures to dot the clear blue sky of Kansas. You’ll see hot air balloons of
all shapes, sizes and colors! The first balloons take to the air on Friday
evening May 10th and continue to take flight
through the weekend.
The three-day event kicks off at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 10, at the Anthony Airport. Parking and admission are free. Friday evening the balloons will be inflated as the weather permits. Flights are possible; if not, balloons may stand and glow. Festival-goers will be able to walk among the balloons and visit with pilots and crew. A fireworks display at dusk will finish off a lovely evening. There will also be a possible preview of the kite festival Friday evening. Tethered rides are scheduled for Friday evening, Saturday morning and Saturday evening. Adults tethered rides are $20, and children’s tethered rides are $10. Tethered rides are available when the weather permits. Hot air balloon rides are $150.
Sunrise on Saturday is a perfect time for a hot air balloon
flight. Pilots will be briefed at 6 a. m. and, if the weather allows, will
start inflating their balloons by 6:30. Arrive at the airport early for the
best views of the launches. Balloons from all over, including Kansas, Oklahoma
& Minnesota will participate. Among them will be a special shaped balloon, which
is “Freedom Flight IV”. Balloon rides are $150. Later in the day, look for
helicopter rides at $40 each, and powered parachutes,powered paragliding and a kite festival.
After the flight on Saturday morning, visit downtown Anthony for a wide variety of activities, including a 5K Recreation Fun Run (fund raiser for the Anthony Recreation), shopping, the F-4D Phantom jet fighter flight simulator, Show & Shine Car Show at the Courthouse; tours of the Anthony Historical Museum; food and craft vendors on Main Street; Dutch oven cooking by Boy Scout Troop #855; once again the Kite Festival at the Anthony Airport; and a live carving demo by a chain saw artist. Local merchants and restaurants will welcome shoppers with specials all day. At 2:00 p.m. a parade will proceed down Main Street. As an added attraction we have a carnival. They will be open on Thursday and Friday from 5 – 10 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. with bracelets each day for just $15 each.
Saturday evening the pilots will try for another balloon flight at the airport. Launch window, weather permitting, will be 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Sunday morning at sunrise will be the last flight time for the hot air balloons. Launch time is 6:30 – 7:30 a.m. After watching the balloons take off, there’s still time to attend worship at one of our local churches before lunch and the trip home. The Anthony Chamber of Commerce Sunflower Balloon Fest has been a tradition for 22 years.
We recommend that you arrive one hour before flight time. For more information call 620-842-5456 or visit the website, www.sunflowerballoonfest.com.
Chainsaw Folk Artist Live Demonstration
The man with the chain saw is calm. His eyes are soft, and his demeanor is peaceful as wood chips fly, and the face of a friendly bear starts to emerge.
Jumbled piles of firewood are strewn about. In the middle is T.J. Jenkins, the man behind the chain saw.
Jenkins, a self-taught artist, started creating when life threw him a curveball and carving helped get his mind off his troubles. He began in December 2012 after he lost his job, moved to Platte County to care for his ailing mother and his car caught on fire.
Jenkins says he’s inspired by other self-taught artists, like R.A. Miller and S.L. Jones, whose work he became familiar with while living in Appalachia.
The whole family will enjoy watching this artist at work—with a gigantic carving tool! TJ Jenkins will be here on Saturday, May 11, showing off his carving skills as he turns logs of cedar into a variety of creatures. Some of his work will be available for sale. Look for TJ’s tent in the 100 block of east Main Street. Some of his work will be available for sale.
21th Annual Show & Shine Car Show
The popular Car Show organized by Troy Lankton of Classic Woods is back! The show surrounds the Historic Harper County Courthouse just one block north of Main Street between Jennings and Anthony Avenues. Look for classic and antique cars, trucks and motorcycles, on display from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. Registration to enter your vehicle in the show is $10. The show is free to the public. Vote for your favorites, and feel free to take plenty of pictures.
The ultimate goal is to make the F-4D Phantom
Simulator a fully interactive aviation simulator. The F-4D Phantom Simulator is
in a continual refinement process. After each event, in which it has made an
appearance, upgrades are made to further its restoration. All of the proceeds
go directly to the restoration of the simulator. F-4 Phantom II
Thunderbird Simulator is always looking to get any information regarding the
USAF Thunderbirds and The F-4 Phantom II Aircraft.
If you have a story, experience or an interesting comment regarding the Thunderbirds or F-4 Phantom II please contact us.
The skies will glow with spectacular fireworks on Friday evening about 9:30 p.m., following the balloon glow or balloon flight. It’s a truly unique event because the spectators can be on the balloon field just outside the fireworks safety line, close enough to hear, see, and FEEL thefireworks like no other show. Our pyro's might even have a surprise for you again this year.
Twisted Amusement Carnival
An Estimated 350 million people visit a carnival each year. This makes a carnival one of the most popular forms of family entertainment in the Country. A carnival remains one of the safest forms of family entertainment. Carnivals are known for their draw of a crowd and it is hard to resist the bright lights of the rides, the fun of the games and the chance to be a kid again.
This carnival is known to have a clean & professional crew and midway. They use Gull Wing Silent Generators which are quiet and do not distract from the festival; They provide benches, umbrellas and courtesy tents; The entire midway is color coordinated and with A high level of cleanliness and professionalism and ride inspections are done daily. They travel with a large array of adult rides, children rides, food booths and games along with many different games that are flush with wonderful prizes.
Great American Kites
One of our favorite events made the list at #6. The Sunflower “Balloon” festival. The last 3 years winds have been amazing for kites. The best part about this event is the amazing small-town hospitality of Anthony Kansas in the heart of Harper county. This event is amazing and if you have the time, GO. You won’t be disappointed.
What a wonderful two days in Anthony Kansas for the 2018 Sunflower Balloon Festival. We had a fantastic time at the event in near perfect conditions. While we were super sad it was too windy for all of our hot air balloon friends it was a real pleasure to be invited back to yet another amazing kite show. We worked very hard in super-hot conditions to put up a world class display for all who attended. Special thanks to the AnthonyChamber of Commerce and event organizers for inviting us back. We also must thank the amazing crew with had this year helping us fly our best show yet. We are so blessed to have great friends in our life that come out to help be a part of these amazing events. Don Murphy, Betty Murphy, Callie Lawrence, Corey Lawrence, Mike Martin, David Zinkand, Zack Zinkand, Lucinda Gates, Janice Gates, Linda Larkey and Gwen Warner Thank you a million times over for your support. You all went above and beyond, and we are "blown away" with appreciation. If you have any photos please share them and use #GreatAmercianKites. Come see us put on yet another amazing show.Join us May 10th - 11th in Anthony Kansas for the 22nd Annual Sunflower Balloon Festival. The magical combination of our giant kites and hot air balloons is truly amazing.
Powered Paragliding (PPG) or Paramotoring is a new event this year. We will have 5 – 7 pilots and they are known as “PPG” Pilots.
They typically fly in the first couple of hours after sunrise or a couple of hours before sunset, depending on wind conditions. With a strobe, they can fly 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset.
As you can see in the photo the motors are strapped to their backs and they basically run in to the sky.
The Wichita based PPG (Powered Paragliding) Pilot’s will have their Paramotor’s on display and will fly in the evenings, if conditions are favorable. They will also do kiting demonstrations on an off, depending on wind conditions. This just consists of being on the ground, flying (Kiting) the wing, to learn control of it.
Balloonists attending this year’s show include Brian Carlson, Balloon Meister, flying “Dreams Fulfilled””; Wynn (Gus) Gustafson, flying “Freedom Flight IV”; James Bowman, flying “Dot”; Royce Miller, flying “Green Hornet”; Lori Hutchinson, flying "Breaking Dawn"; Bruce Skach, flying "ZROZRO7”; Darrin Harrison, flying “RETRO”; Kasey Schwemmer flying “Game On”; Dennis Kohlman flying “Blew By U”’; Jeremy King flying “Cheeky Shenanigans”; Patrick Cloyd flying “Pride & Glory”; Ted Maxfield flying “Jill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure”.
Meet our Balloon Meister
Balloon Name: Dreams Fulfilled
Pilot Name: Brian Carlson, Balloon Meister
Hometown: Topeka KS.
Meet our Special Shape Balloon
Flying our special shape hot air balloon,
Freedom Flight IV is Wynn Gustafson. This balloon is sponsored by Noah’s Ark Builders (The Carl Schmidt
Family). Freedom Flight, the POW/MIA Hot Air Balloon
Team, has flown in more than seven hundred events since its first flight in
November 1989. The non-profit now has three balloons that attend 35 to 45
events a year, staffed entirely by volunteers. Now in its twenty-second year,
Freedom Flight continues to attract attention.
The purpose of Freedom Flight is to administer and operate our hot air balloons and related equipment in order to educate the public about the POW-MIA Issue.
The Freedom Flight POW-MIA hot air balloons can be seen flying at balloon rallies, city festivals, veterans functions, community parades, dedications, patriotic celebrations and ceremonies. A Freedom Flight Balloon serves as a high impact, visual message in promoting the POW-MIA issue.
Meet Our Drone Pilot
ames Classen has been flying drones for more than a half decade. He has owned more than 5 different drones and currently fly’s a DJI Mavic Air with forward and rear sensors that don't allow it to fly into objects in its path. The drone is GPS controlled and he has personally tested it in winds in excess of 50mph and was able to maintain complete control. James has his commercial drone license and uses it on a regular basis for both photography and radio tower as well as other types of inspections. James has made well over 125 flights in the past year alone. He currently works as an assistant engineer at KJIL, a Christian station headquartered in Meade, Kansas, and uses his drone extensively as part of that job. James is a welcome addition to our balloon fest.
Dutch Oven Feed
Troop #855 will again hold their Dutch Oven Feed and will be located this year at the Anthony Municipal Hall, Main Street from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 11. The menu will consist of the main dish, vegetables, yeast breads and desserts. Anyone wanting to help cook is welcome, but there will be no prizes, just a lot of fun. A free-will donation will get you all you can eat and will help support the troop and their activities. If you ate with them last year you know how great the food was. If you didn’t, come try them this year.
You probably know
someone that has always dreamed of flying like a bird. Powered parachutes are
as close to that kind of open, stress-less, free flying as you can get. Powered
parachutes are also one of the safest and easiest ways to get into the sky.
Flying is an age-old desire of humans. And
fortunately, in this day and age, anyone can learn to fly. The truth is that flying in a commercial airliner is more like riding in a bus than the fantasy most of us dream about. At 35,000 feet, the scenery is interesting for an hour-- maybe. But to those of us who want to experience flying "by the seat of one's pants", the real fun is soaring at 'bird' speed, just above the tree tops. There will be Powered parachutes at the airport on Saturday. Come out to see them and visit with the pilots.
Thank You PrairieLand Partners
PrairieLand Partners has been a sponsor from the very beginning of our Sunflower Balloon Fest. They have also very generously donated the use of one of their gators every year to use in the parade and at the airport. We appreciate your support.
Thank You Anthony Kiwanis Club
Once gain the Anthony Kiwanis Club will be our guiding light in the early morning and evening hours as they take care of all the parking at the Anthony Airport during the balloon fest. THANK YOU!
Pilot Package Sponsors
Items for the pilot’s welcome packages have been donated
by many merchants in Anthony. Thank you for your continued support in welcoming
the balloon pilots and their families to Anthony. As of press time we don't
have a complete list of all the donors.
Thanks to Anthony Liquor Store
Thank You Jan Lanie for providing the hot air balloon pilots with champagne for their maiden flight. We appreciate your support!
Thanks to Parsons Farms
Thank you to Jeff and Kim Parsons for continuing to allow us to use your lot on South Pennsylvania for our carnival.
The Historical Museum
A special thank you to the Historical Museum of Anthony for allowing us to put our Sunflower Balloon Fest Banner on their fence for the week preceding the balloon fest.
Don’t forget to buy a t-shirt
Shirts are available at
the Chamber office and sell for $10 in all sizes. Shirts sizes are
limited! What is left will be for sale at the Anthony Airport. They come in
purple and a speckled navy.
IT’S THE 21th
ANNUAL SUNFLOWER BALLOON FEST
Downtown Anthony comes alive as spectators enjoy the 21th Annual Sunflower Balloon Fest parade. Come join the fun! We have the Junior High Marching Band, Shrine units, balloon pilots and their crews, the Anthony Fire Department, Show and Shine Car Show entries, and much more. The parade will be Saturday, May 11th at 2:00 p.m. The Anthony Chamber of Commerce would like to invite you and your family to participate in the parade. Line-up for the parade is located at Memorial Park, Lawrence & Main Street, and will be from 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
If you have any questions, please contact Gwen
Warner at 620-842-5456 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope to see you at the parade!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT
Anthony Police Department
Anthony Fire Department
Harper County EMS
Harper County Emergency Medical Service (EMS) responds to Medical and Traumatic calls and proudly protects people living in and around Harper County. They operate out of 3 stations that protect a primarily rural area. Their department is County owned and their members are a combination of paid full and part-time status.
Anthony Police Department
The Anthony Police Department is comprised of six (6) sworn officers, one police chief and five officers who provide 24-hour law enforcement services for the Community of Anthony and one secretary.
Those officers are: Chief of Police Kenny Hodson, serving Anthony since 1980; Deputy Chief Matthew Schultz, serving Anthony since 2004; Officers Craig Hadsall, serving Anthony since 2012; Rebecca Mendoza, serving Anthony since 2015; Drake Chance, serving Anthony since 2018.
Anthony Fire Department
The Anthony Police Department is comprised of (1) Chief and Five (5) sworn officers who provide 24-hour law enforcement services for the Community of Anthony and one (1) Secretary.
Sidewalk Chalk Contest
year is a Sidewalk Chalk Contest to be held on Saturday, May 11 sponsored by
the Art Center.
9:30 – 10 a.m. is FREE registration at the Arts Center Lawn (104 N Springfield) Chalk will be provided.
10 – 11 a.m. – Drawing Time
11:30 a.m. – Winners announced – Prizes awarded for best balloon fest or springtime themed sidewalk square.Three age categories – elementary students – secondary students – adults.
About DWTA Helicopters
DWTA Helicopters are fully DOT & FFA Certified as a Commercial CFR135 Multi-Pilot, Multi Aircraft Carrier which means all operations and missions requested will be performed with the highest levels of professionalism, safety and efficiency. Helicopter rides are $40 per person and will take place Friday from 4 p.m. till dark and Saturday 8 a.m. till dark at the Anthony Airport.
Anthony Transient Guest Tax
Harper County Community Foundation
Alfalfa Electric Cooperative
Anthony Farmers Co-op
Anthony Liquor Store
Bank of Commerce
Grene Vison Group
Iron Gates Insurance Group
Irwin Potter Drug
Noah’s Ark Builders
Prairie Rose Funeral Homes
Strong’s Insurance, Inc.
Theis Dozer Service
Vap Property Solutions
Walker Family Dental
City of Anthony
Gene’s Heartland Food
Jody Berry/Warner/Joyal Family
Noah’s Ark Builders
Patterson Health Center
Plumb Thicket Landfill
Wyatt Trash Service
Younce Family/McKnight Family
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT
Anthony Liquor Store
Anthony Police Department
Anthony Fire Department
Harper County EMS
Wyatt Trash Service
Anthony Liquor Store
Mike & Jan Lanie
Jeff & Kim Parsons
Wyatt Trash Service
Mike & Connie Wyatt
Schedule of Events
May -9-10-11 – Twisted Amusement Carnival
y-One-Price Wristbands × Thursday-Friday- 5 - 10 p.m. Saturday carnival open from 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Friday, May 10
Balloon pilots, families, and crews arriving all day
Helicopter Rides- 4 p.m. till dark - $40 per person
Tours of Historical Museum of Anthony at no charge from 10 a.m.–noon, 1-4 p.m.
5:30-7:00 p.m. – Mixer for pilots, sponsors & crew at Anthony Municipal Hall
Friday Evening at the Airport – We have 1 special shaped hot air balloon!
Freedom Fight IV will fly or glow, along with all the other balloons, at the Anthony Airport, weather permitting.
Friday Evening – Kite Festival Preview (weather permitting)
Dazzling Fireworks Display at dark at the Anthony Airport.
7:30 p.m. - Possible flight or hot balloon glow
Refueling at Anthony Airport if there is a glow, tether or flight!
Saturday, May 11 Hot air balloon rides $150 (weather permitting) Tethered Rides $20 adults - $10 Children
6 a.m. – Pilot Briefing at Anthony Airport Pilot’s Lounge
6:30 - 7:30 a.m. - Launch window with balloons flying out of Anthony Airport (weather permitting)
Helicopter Rides - 8 a.m. till dark - $40 per person
Twisted Amusement Carnival - All day
Food Vendors & Craft Vendors - All Day
Powered Parachutes - Off and on all day at the Anthony Airport - weather permitting
Powered Paragliding – Paramotor’s on display during the day and will fly in the evenings, if conditions ae favorable.
9 a.m. – 5K Rec Run starting and finishing at Anthony Ball Fields – T-Shirt & Medal provided $25.
8 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Show & Shine Car Show at the Harper County Courthouse
8 a.m. to Dark – Helicopter Rides $40 per person
Kite Festival – All day at Anthony Airport
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Chainsaw Folk Artist Live Demo with TJ Jenkins
Mobil Vet Center – All day on Main Street
Tours of Historical Museum of Anthony at no charge from 10–noon, 1-4 p.m.
11 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. - F-4 Flight Simulator
11:30 - ?? – Boy Scouts Dutch Oven Cook at Life 180 Parking Lot
12:45 – 1:45 p.m. – Lineup for Parade.
2 p.m. – Sunflower Balloon Fest Parade, Downtown Anthony
5:30 p.m. – Pilot Briefing at Anthony Airport Pilot’s Lounge
6 – 7 p.m. – Launch Window-Balloons launch from Anthony Airport (weather permitting)
Freedom Flight IV will fly or glow at the Anthony Airport along with all the other balloons.
Sunday, May 10
6 a.m. – Pilot Briefing at Anthony Airport Pilot’s Lounge
6:30 – 7:30 a.m. – Launch Window-Balloons fly from Anthony Airport (weather permitting). 2019 Sunflower Balloon Fest hosted by Anthony Chamber of Commerce and City of Anthony. www.sunflowerballoonfest.com or find us on our Facebook page (Sunflower Balloon Fest).
But the hot air balloon didn’t land at an airport!
People often mistakenly think that hot air balloons operate under the same flying principles as other aircraft. Some of the concepts are the same, like log books, the FAA, but a lot of things are different too. For instance, hot air balloons do not take off and then land at specific, designated hot air balloon airport. Instead, balloons take off from everywhere: a friend’s yard, a pasture, a park, a meadow, a parking lot… anywhere there is an open space big enough for a hot air balloon to spread out. And they land everywhere too: churches, schools, cropless farmers’ fields, cul-de-sacs, and yes, occasionally, an airport. Again, as long as it is big enough that a balloon can touch down and spread out, it has the possibility of being a landing spot.
Each of the arrows is a current of air and the direction that current is going is the same direction the hot air balloon is going. These currents shift as the day progresses, often changing the locations open for landing.
Often, when reading an article about a “balloon crash,” you’ll notice that the reporters mention that they were‘forced’ to land there because the wind ‘suddenly changed’ or ‘weather forced an emergency landing’. This is misleading. One, because the wind is always subtly changing and it’s quite common to have a landing site lined up and then the wind slide just a degree to the right or left and blow the balloon away from the landing. It’s just the way things work and does not cause an emergency landing. As for the weather, yes, weather forces us down in away. On morning flights, once thermals start up, it’s dangerous to keep flying and so pilots land before that. It happens every day and, again, is a fact of ballooning, and not an emergency.
That means these following landings, which have been called by the media and observers as crash or emergency landings, actually aren’t.
The hot air balloon basket tipped over!
Another thing that confuses people about hot air balloons is the way they land. See, hot air balloon baskets are just that… baskets. There are no wheels on the bottom, no shocks, nothing that keeps the basket upright as the pilot lands. Instead, if the wind is moving enough, the basket will touch down on the ground and tip, and possibly even drag. Drag landings are not the preferred method of landing, but they are completely acceptable and do not mean that there is an emergency.
These are all perfectly fine landings.
But the hot air balloon was flying so low!Flying low, or contour flying, is a common activity for hot air balloon pilots, especially competition or ride pilots. Navigating the balloon to glide right above the tree tops and corn stalks helps them to fine-tune their skills in the case of competition pilots or gives passengers a unique experience that no other form of flying can offer.
Also, when landing, the more-shallow a decent rate the more gentle a landing. It’s not uncommon for pilots to slowly ease to the ground, hover for a bit, and then finally touch down. A balloon close to the ground is of no concern; they’re simply out enjoying the beautiful terrain and scenery!
all balloon crashes are phony stories made up by news agencies, but it’s not
uncommon for stories of normal balloon landings to be exaggerated. Most likely,
when a hot air balloon flies low over your house, lands on a quiet cul-de-sac
street, and the basket tips over, everything is just fine. Come on over! Ask questions.
Touch the balloon. That’s why we landed there.
A gives riders a taste of Ballooning while being held down by long ropes only floating up to 50 feet in the air. They are a great way for small children or elders to experience a balloon ride. Like all other Balloon Rides, tethered ride are also weather permitting. Each ride lasts 5 – 10 minutes. Tethered rides are available for purchase during the festival weekend only, no pre-sales, for $20.
An or the typical balloon ride is between 30 – 40 minutes with the whole experience taking about 2 hours. The balloons take off together and soar hundreds of feet in the air, gracefully moving over the landscapes of Anthony, KS and beyond. The balloons land outside the festival grounds, end with champagne and transportation back to the festival. They are available for purchase before and during the festival for $150.00. All balloon rides are wind and weather dependent.
Don't Come to The Sunflower Balloon Fest to See Balloons in the Middle of the Day
· Hot air balloons only fly the first two hours after sunrise and the last two hours before sunset as winds are less stable during the middle of the day. Unstable/unpredictable winds can be so dangerous as to be deadly in a hot air balloon. If you have your heart set on flying during the middle of the day, we recommend you look into some other form of heavier-than-air type of flying. You won't see balloons in flight or standing during the middle of the day during the Sunflower Balloon Fest. This is for the safety of the pilots, crew, and for the safety of their equipment - and for spectator safety.
· Passenger weight matters. The total weight of the passengers is important. The hotter the weather, the less weight the hot air balloon can carry. Generally speaking, combined passenger weight should be no more than 400 lbs; this limitation will vary depending upon the balloon and heat of the day you're flying. So, when your pilot asksyou how much you and your fellow passengers weigh, be honest. It's for your safety.
· Children. Different pilots have different policies about flying minor children; some do not fly minor children while others do. Some pilots have a minimum age requirement. In general, most children should be tall enough to see over the edge of the basket - about 48 inches or taller - in order to enjoy the experience. After all, if they can't see the beautiful sights, they'll get bored. Have a conversation with your pilot about your particular child and his/her maturity level.
· Be prepared for an outdoor adventure. Unlike flying in a plane or helicopter, hot air balloons often do not take off or land at airports. More likely, you'll find yourself in the midst of a beautiful country or suburban setting. Dress for outdoor activities. Wearing closed toe shoes is strongly recommended.
· Weather is everything. Hot air balloon pilots don't fly unless the weather is right. If the weather isn't right for flying or the comfort level of your individual pilot, the pilot will tell you that there is always time to wait for better weather.
· Hot air balloons only fly the first two hours after sunrise and the last two hours before sunset as winds are less stable during the middle of the day.
What do you mean by unfavorable conditions?
Winds too weak or too strong (more than 12 km/h), rain and thunderstorms in an area of 50 km are unfavorable conditions. On the other hand, conditions may be unfavorable at 6 pm and takeoff is permitted 20 minutes later. Please note that if the takeoff is postponed, it can affect the flight duration. In all these cases, the pilots have to wait the “balloonmeisters” approval before the takeoff.
What Should I Wear?
It’s really important to wear comfortable shoes (sandals and high-heel shoes are not recommended). Remember that you will be standing for all the duration of the flight. Mornings and evenings are a bit cooler, so bring a windbreaker or an extra jacket. For flights in the morning, we suggest that you wear boots to keep your feet dry if there is dew on the ground. In the evening, we suggest you wear long pants since landings in a field often occur at a time when mosquitoes buzz all over the place!
Where are we going to land?
It’s impossible to plan where we are going to land. The strength of the wind and its direction show us the area where we are going, nothing more. Usually, we land in an area where we can obtain the owner’s authorization, in a field nearby a road to make the balloon recovery easier, for instance.
How Do I Get Back To the Starting Point?
During the flight, the pilot is constantly in radiocommunication with his team on the ground, also called chase crew. The chase crew follows him everywhere and when the balloon lands, the team is on the spot to help the pilot pack up the balloon envelope and put all the equipment back in the trailer. Then, everyone gets in the truck to go back to the starting point.
How Long Does the Ride Last?
A flight can take about an hour depending on the weather at the takeoff time. As a passenger, you should plan up to 2 or 3 hours of your time for the duration of the whole activity (meeting your pilot, preparing the equipment for the inflation, taking-off, flight, landing, storing away the equipment, the traditional ceremony, and going back to the starting point).
Why are the flights early in the morning or at the end of the day? (Except in Winter)
You can fly in summer and winter but, the only difference is that, during winter, we can fly at any hour of the day, whereas during summer, the flights are early in the morning or at the beginning of the evening.
A hot air balloon can fly due to the fact that warm air is lighter than cold air. On summer days, when the sun warms the ground, there is a phenomenon which, according to the thermal capacity of elements, creates more or less warm zones and whirlwinds which represent a risk for balloons. While early in the morning and at the end of the day, the ground is cold enough and the thermal phenomenon are practically absent. This allows us to fly safely.
How high can you fly?
A Hot Air Balloon can fly up to 7,500 feet. During a flight, it is possible to fly only at a few meters. It allows the pilot to trim the top branches of trees and skim over the river. It is as well possible to fly at 1,000 feet in the air and have a better view of the landscapes. Everything depends on the pilot, the passengers and the weather conditions.
Is it possible to guide a hot air balloon?
A pilot knows that according to his altitude, he can find winds of various directions. In a certain way, he can control his balloon.
Do we suffer from vertigo in a hot air balloon?
No! Since the balloon is not attached to the ground like a bridge or a tower, the vertigo phenomenon doesn’t exist! During the flight, the gondola is very stable and hardly moves.
Is it cold the higher you fly?
We lose about 2 Celsius degrees for each 1000 feet of altitude. Therefore, if it’s 20 Celsius degrees on the ground, it will be 18 Celsius degrees at 1000 feet high, and so forth. Furthermore, since the hot air balloon is moving at the same speed as the wind, you will hardly ever feel the wind in your face during the flight.
Can I bring my camera and take pictures during the flight?
Of course! And we highly recommend you immortalize these magic moments.
HAVE A GOOD FLIGHT !
It's Happening In Anthony, Kansas! www.sunflowerballoonfest.com
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